Thursday, November 27, 2008

A road which isn't -- southern Layard Street

Back in 1863, Thomas Russell's surveyors laid out Greytown in a neat, tidy pattern. He would never have guessed that in 1868, Blake Street would be changed, diverting it to meet with New North Road instead of going straight up to meet Blockhouse Bay Road. In the next decade, other surveyors would mark out a line of railway which would cast a wide swathe across the eastern part of that pattern, cutting off sections of properties. The railway meant that the southern end of Russell's Layard Street from 1863 would never be formed, never metalled. It remains as a road reserve today, a long and wide strip of grass mowed every so often by the Auckland City Council. It is the road which isn't.

It's also, in a way, a piece of 1860s Avondale which hasn't altered all that much from when Russell's surveyors marked out the Greytown sections.

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